tv is not dead

says Mark Cuban

Of course he is right. I do dissagree with the focus on the last mile. Bandwidth between one and 5 Megabit a second is actually good enough for lots of uses. The real problem will be the backbones. Right now everybody and his dog tries to get a big user base. Subsrcibers rarely change services. The more highspeed client Telco and Co rake in the better they think. Performance and price are two main criteria in choosing an internet provider.

Since Cuban kicks predictions around here are mine:

I think that most Telco’s oversold their inventory. Maybe not by todays surfing habbits. But these are radically changing. A thing called “RSS 2.0 with media enclosures” will cause serious troubles. Your average Internet ISP CEO might not have a concept of it yet. He probably still mumbles ‘google google google’ every minute or so in a failing attempt to get what made these people so sucessfull. If the ISPs see it coming or not: “RSS 2.0 with media enclosures” is the dragon that will burst into their board room and will bite a head or two off.

Right now a very very small minority of people subsrcibes to these media enclosure feed. Since 95% of all users do not use their internet connection 99% of the time you can seriously oversell your available back bone bandwidth. Imagine you are an airline and for whatever reason only one out of hundret passengers that bought tickets show up. You probably will reduce your prices in order to get more clients. Same happened to the ISPs.
“RSS 2.0 with media enclosures” changes that once you load videos that way. It has been around for almost two years. Tools were cumbersome but they get better. If they should become mainstream then there is simply not enough bandwidth to make people happy. The problem is that the internet will become slower. Since an ISP has to throttle it’s clients. Right now they can afford to be as fast as possible, since almost everybody only uses his bandwidth for surfing html pages and the occasional jpg or video file. It has been said that a third of internet traffic is BitTorrent. Now go on the street and ask people that you see

A. if the use the internet
B. if they use BitTorrent

Most people will say yes on ‘A’ and on ‘B’ you get a blank stare. Bittorrent is still very geekish. So is “RSS 2.0 with
media enclosures”. It is not likely to stay that way.

We will look at 2006 and sigh. Saying “Remember when you could get a FIOS with flatrate”
Almost like: “Remember when you would go to America and traded Manhattan for a couple of pearl necklaces”

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